April 12, 2010
Our letter-writing campaign is already having an impact in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia! On Lembata Island, where a new gold mine threatened to pollute the rivers and displace 60,000 Indigenous people, the local parliament voted to prohibit gold mining. It is still important for government officials at the national and provincial levels to hear from us, however, so that they honor this decision at the local level. So if you have not yet sent letters in support of this campaign, please do so today.
There’s good news from Flores island in East Nusa Tenggara, too. Manggarai Indigenous People filed a class action lawsuit against the government and the manganese mining companies, and the first trial is now underway. The communities are suing for damages to their forests, water sources, agricultural lands, and coastal waters from mining activities, waste, and contamination. Our letters offer international support to the Manggarai villagers in their bold action to demand reparations for the damages they and their environment have suffered from the manganese mines. Please join in our effort to raise their profile at the provincial and national government levels, and remind Indonesian government officials that Indigenous Peoples have the right to participate in decisions that affect their lands, health, livelihoods, and cultures.
We gratefully acknowledge our Indonesian campaign partner organization, Institute for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, for keeping us updated on the impacts of this campaign.